Following on from my previous movie summaries, this is my August review. Overall, I watched 25 new movies this month, taking the total for the year to 235!
Acclaimed horror director Jordan Peele released his latest movie to much intrigue. Following on from his successes with Get Out and Us, the director has earned interest for future projects. Nope is his latest – and like the other movies – I headed to the cinema fairly blind to what to expect.
A young man takes on the family ranch and failing horse handling for film and television business when a strange phenomenon sweeps across his path. It is difficult to discuss much of what makes the movie so good without spoiling the main reveal. There are some crazy scenes (chimpanzee!) – I felt myself holding my breath with the barn scene. The situations are built up and the characters are explored carefully and it all comes together for the wildly intense climax.
Disney+ released “Prey”, the latest movie in the oddly diverse Predator universe. I watched this plus the original and the original sequel.
300 years ago a warrior from the Comanche Nation fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth.
A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior.
The Predator returns to Earth, this time to stake a claim on the war-torn streets of a dystopian Los Angeles.
Starting with the latest release, Prey, I wasn’t overly familiar with the Predator’s ability but it introduces the character slowly but effectively. The mismatch in firepower between the Comanche warriors and the Predator was interesting and it all came down to wit and skills. There are some brutal kills, both with animals and the warriors and it is an effective and fun action movie.
Predator is an absolute macho ‘80s movie. The first half is full of explosions, memeable moments and quotable lines. The CGI struggled and the final fight lacks the same intensity and insanity of earlier action sequences. It was fun to see the nods from Prey.
Predator 2 is not a great sequel. Suffering from the overtly shoe-horned LA setting and gang warfare, it lacked the slow, decisive and menacing stealth the other two movies excelled at.
Best of the rest
A recently widowed traveller is kidnapped by a cold-blooded killer, only to escape into the wilderness where she is forced to battle against the elements as her pursuer closes in on her.
The fractious family of a father and his two sons confront their different feelings and memories of their deceased wife and mother, a famed war photographer.
A single mother befriends a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When one goes missing, the other takes it upon herself to investigate.
Love Happens, when you least expect it. A moving, modern-day love story set over twenty-four hours against a stunning London backdrop.
Alone is a simple yet suspenseful survival story, focusing on just two characters. It is a slow but taut cat-and-mouse thriller. The cinematography is stylish, the camera work is precise and it is meticulously framed. It feels a little slow in places and the title cards are a distraction, but there are so many scenes which will have you on the edge of your seat.
Louder Than Bombs is a movie by director Joachim Trier who captivated me with his raw movie Reprise and the wonderful The Worst Person in the World. Starring Jesse Eisenberg and acclaimed actress Isabelle Huppert, it is another personal look at relationships and dealing with difficult family relationships. It doesn’t quite reach the same level as those other movies, but it’s definitely worth a watch, especially if you’re a fan of his other movies.
A Simple Favor is a stylish black comedy with a bizarre mix of intrigue and mystery. The lovely duo of Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are highlights and elevates what could’ve been a rather bland screenplay. Overall this was an unexpected gem and worth watching.
Forget Me Not is a low-budget, love story with heart and a dark undercurrent. Following two characters who meet unexpectedly, they wander through the backdrop of stunning London as night becomes day. There are obvious similarities to Before Sunset but there are enough differences to make this worthwhile on its own and an ending that’ll catch you off-guard.